Archives for category: The 5 Spot Nashville

Cast of Nashville looking at Bridgestone Arena across the street from Legend’s Corner and The Ryman in the background.

ABC has pulled out all the stops for Nashville, which airs this Wednesday, in believing that a Dallas style soap, with none of the quirky comedy of Desperate Housewives and with the basic plot of Country Strong that starred Gwyneth Paltrow, is ready for prime time.

Nashville’s writer and creative executive producer Callie Kouri says that beyond the familiar landmarks, she wants to capture with absolute authenticity, Music City’s modern identity.

T-Bone Burnett, modern heavyweight of

T-Bone Burnett, Music Director

Americana Music production, with credits that range from the movie Crazy Heart to the Robert Plant / Allison Krauss collaboration is the music director of the show. This leads to possibilities like appearances by Elizabeth Cook, Jim Lauderdale or maybe a Todd Snider scene.

Where television fantasy and reality meet will be an interesting thought.

The 5 Spot – East Nashville, photo – Brad Hardisty

In the second episode, indie – rocker, Avery Barkley, played by General Hospital’s Jonathan Jackson, is playing on the small stage of beer soaked, The 5 Spot in East Nashville, known for hosting East Nashville local rockers as well as annual Jonathan Richman three night stands.

This is a TV drama about the Country music machine, so there probably won’t be an invite to a secret show at Third Man Records or the latest Belmont crowd band playing a gig at John Danzig’s House.

It would be safe to say that the show is not after my demographic, but, I will probably watch it to see what venue or artist pops up in the show.

Each episode brings a $4 million budget to the city. A successful series could mean a lot of business for Nashville. I guess that could be good and bad if a hit TV show starts to become the tastemaker of what outsiders believe about Nashville and what we do with our time.

One thing is for sure, Hayden Panettiere needs to get fitted for a pair of jeans at Imogene + Willie and stop in for some Hot Chicken at Prince’s while she is in town.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN

Last Friday night, after trying to figure out how to get from West End across the I-24 construction zone to East Nashville on surface streets (can you say, “Where the hell am I?”), I barely made it in the door at 11 PM, at The 5 Spot in Five Points for the CD Release Party, get near the stage, Ben Lowry (guitar) glances up and then Abby Hairston (drums) says, “Brad! Ya Made it!” and Bang Ok Bang starts into one of the loudest sets I have heard at The 5 Spot.

Bang Ok Bang/ The 5 Spot – Photos – Brad Hardisty

Bang Ok Bang, is the latest project that puts Ben on guitar instead of Bass with The One Through Tens (The 1-10’s) where Abby also rocks on the skins.

This is a lot heavier and a little more insane then The One Through Tens.

Bang Ok Bang joins the A-list Nashville two man bands, The White Stripes (RIP), The Black Keys and Jeff The Brotherhood. The only difference is Bang Ok Bang would be a great opener for somebody like Queens Of The Stone Age or Slayer.

Ben puts a twist on Chet Atkins picking style by covering the low end through an Ampeg Bass rig, with some gnarly snaking fuzzy bass lines a la Vincebus Eruptum, with stripped down Ministry- influenced- at- Motorhead speed chords and notes through a Marshall.

The only other player I have seen that simultaneously can play the low end and the chords and melody like a total fake out is Lightnin’ Malcolm, the bad ass one-half of the 2 Man Wrecking Crew with Cedric Burnside.

How does the two-man-heavy-stoner rock go over at The 5 Spot? Well, the room was packed where they were the third band up and everybody pulled away from the bar and crowded the stage, grinning and kind of thinking, “Is this guy really pulling off Dickie Peterson and Al Jourgensen at the same time?”

Hey Mr. Marshall meet Mr. Ampeg and try to keep up with Abby. Abby was a solid Bill Ward influenced box beater going from kick to heavy thrashing of the Toms between solid grooves and stoner prog breaks.

With songs like “Above The Surface”, the tender titled “Always For You”, not to be confused with an Everly Brother’s number and “Chemicals Pt. 1 & 2”, I think it is time to pull a two man band festival.

Okay, bring back The White Stripes one more time and let’s have Lightnin’ Malcolm & Cedric Burnside, Jeff The Brotherhood, The Black Keyes and Bang Ok Bang all on the same bill at The Ryman. I would pay $100 to see that show.

Ben’s vocals are what you see is what you get punk rock ethos. I don’t think he could pull off a Josh Stone or Freddie Mercury anyways. Hey, but that’s okay, it’s dang close to Blue Cheer with a healthy Ministry grinding to keep heavy freaks and East Nashville hobnobbers  showing up at the same venue kind of like a Crema Cuban Triple Espresso with a Rooster’s Texas style Brisket Sandwich with all the spicy 911 Jack’s BBQ sauce you can handle.

If I had to compare them to any regional scene band it would be Black Tusk out of Georgia witnessing a little “Hillbilly Voodoo” at a Southern Gothic movie convention in Cordova, Alabama with Ministry providing the soundtrack, Juicifer providing cocktails and Henry Rollins on vocals.

I picked up the “limited to 150” new EP CD and it sounds great. Four songs to irritate office workers as you roll down the window of your Ford Fiesta and crank it full volume. I have number 86/150 and I won’t take less then 5K for it okay, so don’t even ask. If you want yours, you better show up for their next set at The Zombie Shop on July 27th.

Bang a gong, get it on!

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN